PLANNERS have given the go-ahead to outline plans for a new business park on farmland near Carnforth, contrary to officers' advice.

Applicant Stephen Chicken has been given approval to build up to 8,400 square metres of floor space for offices, industry and storage on five hectares of grazing land north of Kellet Road, one kilometre east of Carnforth.

The decision by Lancaster City Council's planning committee was greeted by Cllr John Reynolds, city councillor for Carnforth and Millhead.

He said: "On Monday morning I joined members of the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce, Carnforth Business Network and fellow councillors from Carnforth to speak in favour of an important employment development site on the A601(M) at Carnforth.

"I’m absolutely delighted the site has now been approved for development in outline form and that in the future we will see development here that will provide jobs for local people."

Cllr Reynolds told the Gazette: "With Carnforth already identified as a key area for housing, the next logical step to support a sustainable community was job creation, and I’m delighted the committee listened to the presentations that were made and approved the application."

As well as planning 8,400 square metres of floor space, applicant Mr Chicken is also proposing to do engineering works on the undulating site to create "a development platform", to tie in with the Porsche car dealership which has already been given planning consent there.

Work has not yet started on the new showroom, and the luxury car business continues to operate from its long-established base at Longpool, Kendal.

Carnforth businessman Mike Marczynski, told the Gazette he gave his "full support" to plans for the new business park.

The creator of the Checkpoint® loose wheel nut indicator said: "It can only be good for Carnforth as a great base to do business from, and to create jobs." Mr Marczynski's safety equipment supply company, Checkpoint, is based at Kellet Road Industrial Estate, Carnforth.

Lancaster City Council's planning committee had been recommended to refuse the plans by applicant Mr Chicken for land north of Kellet Road, near Carnforth.

In their report, officers said inward investment was welcomed but they described the scheme as "aspirational", with no end users yet identified. They said there was no guarantee that businesses who had so far expressed interest would end up locating there, and they also state the groundworks would have a harmful impact on the landscape's character.

Carnforth Town Council was in favour of the potential investment and job creation.

Over Kellet Parish Council objected to the change from a greenfield site to an industrial area, calling for the parcel of land to stay in agricultural use.

Planning committee members voted to approve the plans, and they delegated authority back to planning officers for the detailed conditions.